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Wednesday May 04, 2016

Google Lets You Paint In 3D Space Using VR

While this Tilt Brush commercial showing people painting in 3D space with virtual reality is kinda neat, you know this isn't how people would really use Tilt Brush. It's like when the Wii came out, all the commercials showed people jumping around and so on, when in reality everyone eventually just sat on their asses flicking their wrist to "bowl." wink

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Steam Customer Review System Updated

Steam has announced changes to its customer review system to show recent reviews, a new summary tab, an "all languages" option as well as a handful of other options. The idea behind the update is to show the current reviews of a game that might have changed dramatically since it was released *cough*TheDivision*cough*.

While there are plenty of new reviews posted every day, we saw that it was often difficult for newer reviews to be seen and voted on enough to become listed as most helpful. As a result, the most helpful reviews presented on a store page would often describe an outdated view of a game that might have changed dramatically over the course of Early Access or post-release development. By listing recently posted reviews more prominently and by defaulting to recent helpful reviews, Steam can now show a more current idea of what it's like to play the game now.

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Western Digital Board Declares Dividend for Fourth Fiscal Quarter 2016

Western Digital® Corp. today announced that the board of directors declared a cash dividend for the quarter ending July 1, 2016, of $0.50 per share of common stock (the "cash dividend"). The cash dividend will be paid on July 15, 2016, to the company's stockholders of record as of July 1, 2016. The amount of future dividends under the company's dividend policy, and the declaration and payment thereof, will be based upon all relevant factors, including the company's financial position, results of operations, cash flows, capital requirements and restrictions under the company's existing financing documents, and shall be in compliance with applicable law. The board retains the power to modify, suspend or cancel the company's dividend policy in any manner and at any time as it may deem necessary or appropriate in the future.

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Tuesday May 03, 2016

GIGABYTE X99P-SLI LGA 2011v3 Motherboard Review

If you have plans to build a monster Intel based system with up to four GPUs, I would suggest that you read our evaluation of the GIGABYTE X99P-SLI LGA 2011v3 motherboard. It has all the slots you are looking for and a comes in at a decent price point as well.

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GIGABYTE has put out a refreshed X99 motherboard offering an updated USB 3.1 controller and Thunderbolt compatibility. While Skylake is the new hotness and comprises the bulk of Intel’s current mainstream lineup, the HEDT segment remains popular and many consider a 5820K and X99 build a viable alternative to Skylake and Z170.

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Software Update Destroys $286M Japanese Satellite

I'm sure that, at some point in our lives, we've all bricked something. Maybe a BIOS update that toasted a motherboard, processor, memory, maybe a video video card, you name it. With that said, I don't think all the hardware we have collectively fried even comes close to borking a $286 million satellite update. Somebody is getting fired. eek!

The Japanese X-ray telescope Hitomi has been declared lost after it disintegrated in orbit, torn apart when spinning out of control. The cause is still under investigation but early analysis points to bad data in a software package pushed shortly after an instrument probe was extended from the rear of the satellite. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, lost $286 million, three years of planned observations, and a possible additional 10 years of science research.

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Move Over Wearables, Here Comes Swallowables

I guess "swallowables" is now a thing. Do these things analyze and diagnose you from the inside out? Do they take samples and send the data back to the doctors? Nope! All these "swallowables" do is keep track of when you took your medicine. Ummm, okay?

"We have a small, food-particle-sized piece of silicon, an integrated circuit, and on one side of that circuit is a film of copper, on the other side a very thin film of magnesium," explained Proteus Digital Health co-founder Dr. George Savage. "When you swallow, these minerals get wet and two dissimilar metals in aqueous contact define a battery, so you become a battery." From there, the powered pill sensor sends a signal to a patch worn on the body, which sends data via Bluetooth to a phone or tablet and on to the cloud for a doctor or caregiver.

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Google Self-Driving Car Teams With Chrysler

Google has teamed up with Chrysler to make one hundred autonomous 2017 Pacifica hybrid minivans to use in its test cities like around the country. The minivans should be on the road by the end of the year. While the Pacifica may not be the sexiest car on the planet, it beats the hell out of that ugly egg-looking thing Google currently uses.

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In the coming months, our team will collaborate closely with FCA engineers. This experience will help both teams better understand how to create a fully self-driving car that can take you from A to B with the touch of a button. Collaborations like these are an important part of realizing the potential of self-driving technology to improve road safety and make transportation more accessible for millions of people.

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A 10-Year-Old Hacked Instagram

This 10 year old Finnish kid has just become the youngest person ever to receive a cash award from the Facebook bug bounty program. The kid earned a cool $10,000 for finding a way to hack into Instagram and delete comments made by users.

The Finnish tabloid Iltalehti reports that Jani found a means to infiltrate Instagam’s servers and delete text that any user has posted to accompany their photos. This is especially remarkable since Jani is three years shy of being able to make his own Instagram account. Also, he’s a 10-year-old hacker who found a bug that even Facebook’s mighty engineering team missed.

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Adblock Plus And Flattr Allow Users To Donate Money To Websites

Adblock and Flattr seem to think this is a great idea. The question is, do YOU like the idea? I can totally see this working for people that would rather spend a few bucks a month not to see ads while supporting their favorite websites in the process.

Instead of manually funding individual pieces of content (Flattr requires manually hitting a button to contribute money for an article, podcast, song, video, game, and so on), you simply set a monthly budget for all the content you consume. Flattr Plus then uses an algorithm to automatically apportion your budget based on which websites you engaged with the most during that month (you can override this if you want to decrease or increase your budget, give a specific site a larger percentage, and so on).

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WhatsApp Founder Slams Brazil Shut-Down

I don't know why these guys like grandstanding like this (both sides). Since the Brazilian government doesn't give a crap about you "condemning" their actions, stick to your guns and don't compromise the security of your other customers. There you have it, no need for drama. Case closed.

The co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp has spoken out against the ruling of a single Brazilian judge that blocked the app in Brazil for 100 million people for the second time in six months, saying he wouldn’t back down on keeping messages on the network encrypted. On Monday WhatsApp was made inaccessible for its roughly 100 million users in Brazil — around half the country’s population — after cellular providers blocked access for the second time this year.

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Twitter Shares Hit Lowest Level Ever

Now that Twitter's shares are at an all time low, we should start taking bets on just how low the stock will go. Wall Street seems to think shares will rebound but, in my total non-professional opinion, I think more hurting is on the horizon for Twitter's stock if the company can't get its poop in a group.

Twitter is down 40% this year. It is nearly 50% below its IPO price of $26 and more than 80% lower than the peak of $74.73 it hit way back in December 2013 -- one month after it went public. (Those were the days!) There wasn't any news to explain the stock's slide on Tuesday. But Twitter has continued to slip since it reported earnings last week. Sales missed forecasts and investors were also disappointed by the company's outlook.

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Man Dressed As Jesus Arrested In Apple Store

What is wrong with the world today when it's okay for smelly hipsters to camp out all day in the Apple store but Jesus gets arrested. You have to ask yourself, what would Steve Jobs do?

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The incident took place around 6:15 p.m. at the Apple Store at 16th and Walnut streets. Police tell Action News they received a call from the store manager about a man who would not leave the store when asked. Officers arrived to find Philly Jesus, a former drug addict whose real name is Michael Grant, and who is known to Center City residents for dressing like Jesus and quoting Bible verses.

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Gaming [H]eadlines

Blood Bowl 2 DLC Released @ Blue's News

Gears of War 4 Beta Proves Series Is Stuck In 2006 @ VG24/7

New Carmageddon for PS4/Xbox One Delayed @ GameSpot

The Division Daily Missions Are MIA...Again @ Shacknews

DISH Is Now In The Mobile Cell Phone Repair Business

Need your iPhone fixed while you are at the gym? At home? At the coffee shop? Call DISH and they will come to you. Yes, we are talking about that DISH. You don't even have to be a Dish customer. Putting in a mock order showed me that a battery repair was $39.99 plus a required $35.00 "drive to me" fee.

On-site repair means we come directly to you to perform the repair. Whether at your home, office, school, or coffee shop, a DISH Smart Home Services technician will arrive and expertly repair your device. You don’t need to wait in a queue or be without your device for days on end. No fuss, just convenience. After you enter your credit card information on the website we charge $35 an up front "Drive to Me Fee". Once the repair is complete we charge the balance of the phone repair. If you have multiple repairs scheduled in the same location – you only pay one "Drive to Me Fee".

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Lab-Grown Meat Is In Your Future

Would you eat lab grown meat even if it was healthier than real meat? I don't know, that sounds pretty damn gross to me. Then again, it can't be any worse than eating Taco Bell and McDonald's. Seriously, who knows what is in most of the fast food we eat?

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Court Rejects Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit Against Justice Department

Yesterday the U.S. District Court Northern District of California dismissed Twitter's lawsuit that claimed it had a First Amendment right to transparency. The courts ruled that Twitter, or anyone for that matter, can not publish data that it knows is classified.

"The First Amendment does not permit a person subject to secrecy obligations to disclose classified national security information," writes the judge, pointing out that Twitter has not challenged the fact that the data it seeks to publish is considered classified by the government. "In the absence of a challenge to the decisions classifying that information, Twitter’s Constitutional challenges simply do not allege viable claims."

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Lian Li PC-J60 @ ocaholic

Cooling: EK P360 Performance Liquid Cooling @ Guru3D

ETC.: SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headset @ MadShrimps

Power Supply: Silverstone ST70F-TI 700W @ CowcotLand

Western Digital RED 8TB Helium HDD Review

There is a review of the Western Digital RED 8TB helium filled hard drive posted today at HardwareCanucks. If you are in need of storage space, you'll surely want to give this review a look.

Alongside the obvious performance-driven challenges, HDD manufacturers have also hit up against two other walls: one which limited platter density and the other which is a rather large but still spatially-constrained 3.5" form factor. In order to leap ahead in both those respects, Western Digital’s new RED 8TB’s platters are filled with helium and then sealed.

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The Division Player Base Collapsing?

It's no doubt that The Division has had more than its fair share of problems since launch but has it's player base really taken a nose dive? According to SteamCharts, the average number of players was just over 65,000 in March compared to just under 25,000 over the last thirty days. frown Thanks to Austin D. for the heads up.

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AMD Polaris 10 Has 390/390X Performance

The folks at Fudzilla, citing "well-informed sources," claim that AMD's upcoming Polaris 10 will have R9 390 - R9 390X performance with a price tag in the $299 range. Obviously we'll have to wait and see how accurate this info is but, in the mean time, it's always fun to speculate on leaked specs.

AMD is about to launch two GPUs soon. One is codenmamed Polaris 10 and will replace Radeon 390 cards and the other, the Polaris 11 should replace the Radeon 370 and take on Geforce 950 performance. Our well-informed sources are confident that Polaris 10 should match or outperform Radeon R9 390 cards and in some cases even give the Radeon R9 390X a good kicking. AMD currently wants $400 for Radeon R9 390X, and and its Radeon R9 390 could go as low as $310. The Polaris 10 should end up at $299 price at launch, and it will focus on the low power and power per wat where the Nvidia card is vulnerable.

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Watch Engineers Hack Your Samsung SmartThings Door Lock

Thinking about doing the whole "smart home" thing? You might change your mind after watching this video. If you fall victim to a hack like this, you might as well have handed over the keys to your house because technically, that's what you just did. Scary, isn't it?

Cybersecurity researchers at the University of Michigan were able to hack into the leading "smart home" automation system and essentially get the PIN code to a home’s front door. Their "lock-pick malware app" was one of four attacks that the cybersecurity researchers leveled at an experimental set-up of Samsung’s SmartThings, a top-selling Internet of Things platform for consumers.

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Teen Funds Incredible Apple Collection With Lawn-Mowing Money

Although it would have been nice if this kid collected PCs instead of Macs, that doesn't diminish the fact that this is an extremely impressive collection for a fifteen year old. Hell, it is impressive even for adults! What were you doing when you were fifteen?

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Now 15, Alex Jason is on the verge of opening a public museum that will feature rare prototypes, a bound original copy of Steve Wozniak’s Woz Pak coding notes for the Apple II, and even a rare Apple I that may be the only one in existence with working original chips.

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NVIDIA and Samsung Agree to Settle All Outstanding IP Litigation

NVIDIA and Samsung have agreed to settle all pending intellectual property litigation between the two companies, NVIDIA announced today. The agreement will lead to the immediate dismissal of all pending IP litigation in U.S. district courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Patent Office between the companies. The settlement includes the licensing of a small number of patents by each company to the other, but no broad cross-licensing of patents or other compensation. Further details of the agreement are not being disclosed.

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Intel and Oculus Bring Virtual Reality Experience to Best Buy Stores across the US

On May 7, Intel and Oculus will unveil the first retail demo of Oculus Rift, giving people an opportunity to try out the long-awaited virtual reality headset, connected to an Intel-powered PC. The demo will take place in 48 Best Buy locations nationwide, exclusively those with The Intel Experience – a dedicated in-store zone that showcases the latest emerging technologies and amazing experiences that Intel brings to life. Currently, Intel® Core™ i5 and Core i7 processors are the only processors that meet Oculus’ recommended specifications for the full Rift experience, which renders realistic images and natural interactions.

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Monday May 02, 2016

AMD Radeon R9 380X CrossFire Video Card Review

Our AMD Radeon R9 380X CrossFire Review is now online for your viewing pleasure. What can you expect performance wise from a pair of these cards? What about compared to a couple R9 380 cards? What about when they are matched up against a pair of GeForce GTX 960s in SLI? We answer those question and more, so hit the link and start reading!

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We are evaluating two Radeon R9 380X video cards in CrossFire against two GeForce GTX 960 video cards in a SLI arrangement. We will overclock each setup to its highest, to experience the full gaming benefit each configuration has to offer. Additionally we will compare a Radeon R9 380 CrossFire setup to help determine the best value.

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Drone Ballet Show At Mount Fuji

This drone ballet show at Mount Fuji is definitely one of the coolest things you will see all day. Using a drone to film a group of dancing drones was a neat idea and added another dimension to a very impressive performance. Thanks to those of you that sent this one in.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

ETC.: AMD A10-7860K @ techPowerUP!

Corsair M65 PRO RGB Mouse @ Vortez

Fnatic Gear Flick G1 Optical Mouse @ APH Networks

GAMDIAS Hermes RGB Mechanical Keyboard @ Techgage

Storage: Intel 750 Series 400GB NVMe SSD @ ThinkComputers

Video: ASUS MG24UQ IPS 4K FreeSync Monitor @ eTeknix

Comcast "Cares" On Twitter. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I thought this was a joke when I first saw the hashtag. Why would the winner of the 2014 Worst Company in America knowingly open itself up to the hate train like this? Obviously Comcast didn't expect this to blow up in its face like it did but I think they'll know better next time.

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If there is one lesson that large corporations really, really need to take to heart about the 21st century, it is this: unless you are universally beloved (and maybe even then), probably don’t self-promote with Twitter hashtags. It will not end well for you. And who would be the latest business to fall for this trap? It’s Comcast, the cable company America loves to hate.

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How Gaming Is Shaping The Future Of Work

Is gaming really setting the pace in the workplace? I can see how virtual and augmented reality could be great for conferences and such but what other ways do you think the gaming world has influenced the work environment?

Imagine joining a meeting that exists in virtual space – a conference room rendered in 3-D, complete with chairs, a table, a whiteboard, and coffee. As your colleagues join, you see their avatars enter the room and sit around the table. The meeting is an immersive simulation of an in-person meeting, created with the help of motion sensors that track physical movement or gloves equipped to capture hand movements and body language. Audio is a live feed from each participant. In this scenario, it’s difficult for team members to slip off to do their laundry, or multitask on other projects, because their attention is fully committed to the virtual environment of the meeting.

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ASUS ROG Spatha Review

If you want a mouse that not only looks good but performs great as well, the crew at Vortez say the ASUS ROG Spatha might be the mouse for you.

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The Spatha has been turning heads since it was unveiled at Computex last year and it is easy to see why. It is a large, wired/wireless mouse based on a magnesium alloy frame that features a total of 12 programmable buttons, of which the 6 side buttons are arranged in a way that represents the ROG eye logo. To finish of the final aesthetic, there is a 3 zone customisable RGB lighting system.

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